Moranbah Community Afternoon Tea
Madam Mayor; Deputy Mayor; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we are gathered. I extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Thank you for welcoming me Kaye and me into your community today. It is our great pleasure to be with you here – the second time we have visited Moranbah as part of our Regional Government House program.
The Regional Government House initiative began in 2015. For one week each year, we transplant the Office of the Governor into the regions. Queensland is a vast state with many different regions, industries and areas. In touring the state and bringing our Government House to the regions, we have been able to connect with a multitude of Queenslanders and see up close the many different faces of this State.
2020 has certainly been a year like no other. And while COVID may be the biggest news story right now, it is not the only tragedy to befall communities in Queensland this year. I refer of course to the terribly sad mining tragedy which occurred in May this year.
Kaye and I are humbled by the presence today of the first responders to that tragedy. I say wholeheartedly to them all, thank you. Most of us when confronted with danger would prefer to run from it rather than toward it. Thank you for your role in the events of that day.
We know of course that Moranbah is a tough and resilient community, one that stands by its neighbours and is there to lend a helping hand. While tragedy may not define you, it surely always leaves its mark.
But the spirit of this community is to carry on together. I have seen this personally when I visited in 2017, and again today, at the Miners’ Memorial, at the Moranbah State School, and in learning about the wonderful initiatives underway to drive visitations and enhance the wellbeing of residents.
And it is a spirit we particularly celebrate this year – 50 years since construction of the town began, back in 1970. To mark this most special year, I have not one, but two, small tokens of Kaye’s and my appreciation.
Firstly, Moranbah features in a new Government House publication, a children’s book about Gavel, the Vice-Regal Dog, who travels around Queensland looking for the right job. I hope the book inspires Queensland children to learn more about magnificent Moranbah – Copies have been deposited at the School and Council libraries.
Secondly, I suspect this is more immediately appealing, we have taken the liberty of organising a special cake – to be served in COVID-compliant portions – celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Moranbah.
It now gives me enormous pleasure to invite the Mayor to join me in cutting this cake, thereby celebrating the important contributions to Queensland of Moranbah and its uplifting people. Thank you.